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Full text of "Poland Russia and Great Britain 1941-1945"

Press, and which had survived the German occupation.   On 26th January,
a ban was imposed on wireless sets.   As in the Soviet Union these could
consist of relay sets only, which operated from a central control.   Thus
the population, who had listened to foreign broadcasts at a great risk under
the German occupation, had to continue to act illegally and at the same
risk  under Russian   liberation.'   Any person  caught listening-in to
foreign stations was killed on the spot by the police.   The Soviets were
anxious to separate Poland with the greatest possible expediency from the
Western World.   Throughout the country, new authorities were created
by applying the same methods.    Squads of Soviet agents, trained in
Russia, arrived in every town, and, helped by local Communist sym-
pathisers, where these could be found, set up authorities, conscripted
militia and formed tribunals to bring the c Fascists 5 to trial.   The highest
positions in the Civil Service were also taken by officials of the N.K.V.D.
In one instance, General Zavadzki of the Security Troops of the N.K.V.D.,
was nominated the Governor of Silesia.   There appeared to be no inter-
ference with the Church at this stage, and even an ostentatious willingness
to gain the sympathy of the population by emphasising a great deal of
goodwill towards the clergy.    On the other hand, every move was made
in the direction of subordinating the education.    It seemed that religion
was to be tolerated in this generation but not in the next.   The schools
and universities were opened, but the main subjects were in support of
the c Russo-Polish friendship.'    In Lublin itself, the Catholic University
was re-opened, it had been converted into a ' National Academy,' but
ceased to be a Catholic University, for the faculty of theology, which was
its main feature, was disbanded.    The new rulers announced the opening
of educational institutions to which they gave the titles of universities
and polytechnics, many more than there had been in pre-war Poland,
and some of them with as many as fifteen faculties.   The universities and
schools, however, were, as in the Soviet Union, deprived of their automony
and freedom, and were subordinated to the governmental authorities. The
Polish schools in Eastern Poland were closed, and no Polish paper was
allowed to be published.   The population was told that they were now in
Russia and they must speak Russian in all governmental offices and
institutions.*
The agrarian problem was the main instrument played upon to cause
unrest and dissatisfaction. The first move of the new Soviet authorities
was the destruction of the c landlords ' and the classifying of the peasantry
into ( kulaks,3 c middels' and proletariat. The agrarian reform was to be
opened by the expulsion of the c landlords,1 who, quoting Moscow radio,
cc if they owned more than fifty arable hectares, are being deprived of
their lands and told like any other landless peasants they must apply for
five hectares." The estates were partitioned among the farm hands and
neighbouring peasants^ simply by pacing out a certain area, which was
* New York Daily Mirror, March 24th, 1945.
412